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Russia in 1913

by Wayne Dowler Northern Illinois University Press
Pub Date:
Pbk 361 pages
AU$45.99 NZ$48.69
Product Status: In Stock Now
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A pivotal year in the history of the Russian Empire, 1913 marks the tercentennial celebration of the Romanov Dynasty, the infamous anti-Semitic Beilis Trial, Russia’s first celebration of International Women’s Day, the ministerial boycott of the Duma, and the amnestying of numerous prisoners and political exiles, along with many other important events. A vibrant public sphere existed in Russia’s last full year of peace prior to war and revolution. During this time a host of voluntary associations, a lively and relatively free press, the rise of progressive municipal governments, the growth of legal consciousness, the advance of market relations and new concepts of property tenure in the countryside, and the spread of literacy were tranforming Russian society.

Russia in 1913 captures the complexity of the economy and society in the brief period between the revolution of 1905 and the outbreak of war in 1914 and shows how the widely accepted narrative about pre-war late Imperial Russia has failed in significant ways. While providing a unique synthesis of the historiography, Dowler also uses reportage from two newspapers to create a fuller impression of the times. This engaging and important study will appeal both to Russian studies scholars and serious readers of history.

''Superbly crafted and magisterial. Dowler's challenging of the myths of Russia's economic and social backwardness, its peasantry's savagery and brutality, and a homogeneous state in opposition to society at large is empirically and historiographically based. So much happened in 1913 that it is surprising that no historian before Dowler thought to do such a study!''--Christine Worobec, author of ''Possessed: Women, Witches, and Demons in Imperial Russia''

Wayne Dowler is an intellectual and cultural historian of Imperial Russia and is professor in the Department of Humanities at the University of Toronto, Scarborough. He is the author of Classroom and Empire: The Politics of Schooling Russia's Eastern Nationalities, 1860-1917 and Dostoevsky, Grigor'Ev and Native Soil Conservatism.